The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Friday refused to take any action against its President Narinder Batra on a complaint of irregularity filed by IOA vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal, stating that the incumbent did not breach the world body's statutes during his election in 2016. (More Sports News)
In a complaint, Mittal accused Batra of violating the FIH's statues by holding the post of Hockey India (HI) president when he was elected FIH head in November 2016.
But FIH's independent Integrity Unit Chairman Wayne Snell gave a clean chit to Batra, stating that the matter related to Mittal's complaint is "not sustained".
"In compliance with the applicable FIH procedure, this complaint was forwarded to the independent FIH Integrity Unit (FIU), which today decided that it will not be taking any action regarding FIH President Dr Batra in relation to this matter on the basis that the matter is not sustained," the FIH stated.
"Indeed, according to the FIH Statutes at the time, there was no requirement for Dr Batra to change his relationship with Hockey India after his election as FIH President in November 2016. He therefore committed no breach of the procedure or the FIH Statutes," it added.
Interestingly, Batra claimed that to ensure there was no conflict of interest in his election as FIH chief, he resigned from the post of Hockey India president on November 25, 2016.
Mittal's allegation on the "illegality" of Batra's election have emerged amid a feud among the top brass of the IOA.
He had earlier written to the International Olympic Committee, claiming that Batra was "illegally" elected as IOA president.
Mittal's allegation is that the IOA constitution of 2013, as approved by the IOC, provided that the presidential candidate will have to be a member of the preceding executive council and Batra was not at that time.
He alleged that the constitution's interpretation was changed to membership of two preceding executive councils instead of only the last council in a Special General Body Meeting held on November 29, 2017.
Earlier in the day, Batra wrote to FIH CEO Thierry Weil and Executive Board members, apologising to the world hockey community for it being dragged into the infighting within IOA.
"I apologise to the hockey community that unnecessary internal issues within the Indian Olympic Association are taking up your valuable time and I do hope you and your families are all in good health and are staying safe during these unprecedented times," Batra said in his communication.
Batra also reiterated that he had done no wrong during his elections as presidents of both IOA and FIH.
"...I have not flouted any of the Rules and Regulations of the Indian Olympic Association or International Hockey Federation or Hockey India in my election as President of the Indian Olympic Association or the President of the International Hockey Federation," he wrote.
He accused Mittal of damaging his reputation by employing unfair means.
"Mittal has gone out of his way to discredit me in front of the Hockey community...questioning my membership with the IOC is his way of exhausting all avenues available to him to again put excessive pressure on me and to humiliate me so that I resign from the post of President, Indian Olympic Association," said Batra, who is also an IOC member from India.
"I can only say that his actions are irresponsible, reckless and solely directed only to defame me," added Batra, who is currently in quarantine after eight people, including helpers, tested positive for coronavirus at his home.
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